Known as the international man of leisure, Gab Rhome is a producer and DJ based in Montreal. His music reflects elements from Africa, Brazil, and Cuba with releases on highly coveted labels such as All Day I Dream, Anjunadeep, Last Night on Earth, and more.
Having played at major festivals worldwide, including Burning Man, Tomorrowland, and Nocturnal Wonderland, the French-Canadian continues to conquer hearts with his soft hands and sumptuous melodies.
How did you discover that you wanted to make music?
Did I ever discover that? I don't know. This being said, I used to be in bands when I was younger, and although I like to relax, I enjoy efficiency. And bands are the least efficient thing on earth. It's impossible to get a bunch of friends to do anything productive. So I got pretty fed up, discovered dance music, and never looked back.
How was that? How did you discover dance music? What led you there?
Shoegaze? So, this is very affected rock music. I discovered it through punk rock and shoegaze. And this led me to people like James Holden, and then somehow, through James Holden, I discovered his old trance music. And then I liked trance music, which is the very opposite of shoegaze to me. So, interesting move. From there, you know, I just started digging, digging, and digging and discovered new music.
Would you say that your childhood impacted who you are as an artist today?
Oh, definitely. I was on stage at five years old. From the very start, I was performing. My parents put me through music school, and I learned a few instruments early. So I got on stage when I was very young. It led me to being very comfortable in front of crowds. I enjoy being on the stage, so I think it comes from my childhood. It's pretty fun. Honestly, it's addictive.
Gab Rhome on stage as a child
What is your secret to evoking such emotion and groove in your music?
You have to be very cutthroat with the music you play and present to the world. Both that you produce and that you play when you DJ. If you're not feeling it, why would others feel it? If I'm not dancing, I don't expect people to dance. To me, it's very important to feel everything you do, so that's the same thing with my music. If I don't get goosebumps from what I'm writing, I'm not expecting others to have goosebumps listening to it. Even if it means you have to delete a bunch of projects and give the best, I think it's better than mindlessly releasing anything you create.
What were some of your main creative challenges when you started out, and how has that changed over time?
My main creative challenge when I started was to understand house music, not understand it, but I would not go out that much, and I didn't necessarily know how house sounded. So what I was creating was my idea of how it's supposed to sound. So it lets you have pretty interesting results. I almost try to keep it that way now, so it's a bit of a challenge but also quite a blessing. Now, when it comes to challenges, I tend to be in a hurry, in a way, and my songs can reflect that there's not much downtime anymore. When I produce, they get a very short and snappy arrangement. Again, it can be good, but when you play it out, it can be hard to teach it to people because the songs are too short. But again, I think I prefer this thing to that kind of music, short and sweet.
There is no denying that you are the 'international man of leisure.' So, what are some things you like to spend your time doing when you're not working?
Oh, I think I only work. I don't like unproductive things, but I love to relax, which is a bit of a paradox and leads to a lot of inner conflict. So I try to relax while staying productive. When I'm in the studio, I try to get massages. I meditate a lot to try to make sense of my scatterbrain. I enjoy a good sauna. I love cooking. Cooking is the thing I like doing. It's the one time I'm relaxed. I just got into Korean food recently. I've always enjoyed eating it, but I never tried cooking it, and it's interesting and tasty. Something I've always been doing is Indian food in general. I love it so much. You have to work out twice as much after because it's heavy.
What have been some of the greatest highlights in your dance music career so far?
I've always found this question difficult because you tend not to see them when you're in it. It's like that movie where basically you dream of being in the ocean, but you don't see that you're in the ocean until you look around. I played Tomorrowland. That's a pretty big deal, I guess. My touring schedule has been increasingly getting better and better, so I feel like every week is a new highlight. Yeah, it's been pretty good. And honestly, being in the music industry, it's a very saturated market. I'm thankful for being able to operate at the level I'm at right now. Although I want to keep growing, I'm still thankful for where I am.
Could you tell us any upcoming releases and plans for the year?
I'm actually working on releasing my set that I did at SXMFestival. This is a festival I did in the Caribbean in March, and I actually enjoyed my set quite a bit when I played there. So I'm working on clearing the songs and releasing the mix on Spotify and Apple Music. In the mix, there are two unreleased songs of mine that will also be available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Music but won't be out until later. It's going to take a few weeks. I'm flirting with a new way of releasing music to see how it works out. I like the idea of previewing the music like this.
I like how you're always experimenting with whatever you're doing. You keep it fresh all the time. That's why it's always a highlight.
It's always different. One of my core values is to try to do things differently. If everyone's doing things the same way, it becomes very boring very quickly. And not just for the creators but also for the fans. Repetition is not always good.
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